Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Mr. Atheist goes to Washington (well, A Capitol... not Washington)

Today was great. I went to Montgomery with my wife and son and we did some Democracy, Ya'll.  I started a MoveOn petition concerning Roy Moore, and the response was great. 14,000 signatures to have Moore removed. The people at MoveOn were a great help and we got the petitions printed and delivered to 2 different Governmental bodies today.

First we went to pick up the petition at a FedEx Office in Montgomery, but they had forgotten to print half of the documents. So that set us back about an hour, waiting for them to remedy that.  But all was well and we proceeded to the Judicial Inquiry Commission to file our complaint.  We had to fill out a form and get it notarized. After a bit of running around, we found a wonderful lady at a bank in the building who was willing to notarize our form. Now I wait for their letter stating they received the complaint and it could be up to 70 days after that to get any kind of response from the Commission.

Once we left the JIC we headed a couple blocks over to the Governor. I had called before hand to get an idea of how the process works. Basically you are ignored and hand stuff off to a security guard.  So we parked our van and hiked up the hill to the Capitol. Not being familiar with the building... I tried very hard to go in through a sealed side door. But we found the proper entrance, passed through security and were able to give the petition and letter to the Guard for Governor Bentley.

I wrote some news organizations and some websites trying to get some people to turn out, but that didn't go so well. So I am asking you guys to call the Governor's office and demand action based on the petition. If you have a few minutes during the day email your local news outlet and ask them to demand answers too. The Governor's press office is (334)242-7150.

Big Thanks to everyone that signed the petition and MoveOn.org.

A word to those who have written me to decry my atheism. Look, the petition, the complaint, and the letter to Bentley have nothing to do with my Atheism. My Atheism colors my view on some things, but this is an issue of judicial ethics, simple morality and humanity. You do not have to agree with my non-belief in a deity to agree that treating Same Sex Couples differently than "normal couples" is wrong. Set aside whatever it is inside you that makes you distrust me and embrace something we have in common.... the demand for equality... even if, to you, that does not include me.

Kicking and Screaming
Victory for Love and Equality
Judicial Impunity
The Plan

I will include some pictures below


     Getting ready for the trip to Montgomery. Excited, and a little worried since I am in no ways a legal expert. Waiting for JIC to open so I can be sure I have all the documents needed before I head out. Also waiting on MoveOn to let me know some information about the petition. Hopefully everything will go off without too many problems and I will have my complaint filed before 2 this afternoon. The wife and my son will be accompanying me, I am excited to show my youngest a bit of civic action.

   Thank you to everyone who has shown support. And to all those who disagree with my Atheism, it is ok. I am not doing this because I am an Atheist, although it does color my views on the religious aspects of this... I do this because I am an American, and an Alabamian. I have seen what backwards thinking, poor public policy, and theocratic tactics bring. LGBT persons have every right to expect equal treatment under every law, in every State in the US. The Supremacy clause its the mechanism for equality... the 14th Amendment is the reasoning for it. Judge Moore can thumb his nose at these laws all he wants, and he will be wrong every time.

    Hopefully this will help push Alabama into the current century and move us past these poor definitions and poor justifications regarding marriage. I am not Gay, and I do not need to be gay to know that they are being treated differently. I do not need to be gay to know it is wrong. I do not need to be gay to take a stand. I do not need to be gay to demand equality. All I need is to look at these wonderful, loving people and see them AS people, instead of seeing them only as an act of physical expression as Moore seems to see them. I simply need to see their humanity, their love, their pain, their hopes... and know that they are exactly the same as anyone else.

Here is the letter to Governor Bentley that will be attached to the petitions.

 Links to all complaint information from previous posts.

 Here is the petition.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Plan...

I have determined that it is necessary to file a complaint against Roy Moore for his inability to remain impartial, and his continued violations of the Cannons of Judicial Ethics.  I have 2 children, I know many Gay people, I have many Gay and Secular friends, and the actions of our Chief Justice must be called to account.  I cannot allow my State to continue to cling to the mentalities that forced segregation and limited inter-racial marriage through the new arguments by Moore.

So, this Tuesday, February 17th, I shall go to Montgomery and file an ethics complaint against Mr Moore with the Judicial Inquiry Commission. I will attach my statement for those who wish to read it, a copy of the actual complaint, all the exhibits I am including in the complaint and a link to the petition I will be using as evidence with the complaint.

I believe in equality for all, not Moore's definition that "Every man can marry every woman, that is equal".  Nor do I agree with his positions that he is on the side that fought Plessy V Ferguson, and Dred Scott. He is clinging to outdated definitions and biblical justifications for a matter of modern law.  I can not sit by and do nothing as he pushes an agenda that causes irreparable harm to families and people who should have access to the same protections and privileges as all other citizens.

Mr Moore has described Homosexuality as "a crime against nature, an inherent evil, and an act so heinous that it defies one's ability to describe it." He has issued a decree for those under his authority to break the law and defy a Federal Court order. He has over stepped the bounds of his office in stating that the Federal Government has no authority over State laws... a position that has been proven wrong in 1865, 1965, and 2015 among others. The State's rights issue has been settled.  He has violated his oath by forswearing the US Constitution and declaring his authority greater than that of a Federal Judge.

I am no one. I am a regular guy who works at a regular job. I have a wife, 2 beautiful children and many friends. I believe that it is our civic duty to hold those we elect accountable to their oaths, their positions, and their duties.  I understand that the popular view in Alabama is one of discrimination.  I also understand that the will of the majority can not and must not be allowed to lessen or withhold the rights of any minority.  It was popular to own slaves, and it was popular to declare State's rights as a legal justification for owning them.  It was popular to have segregation and separate but equal laws, and they fell away as we progressed into a better understanding of the legal definitions of equality.  It was popular to ban inter-racial marriages also as a side effect of poor definitions and policies when determining equal application of laws. We have moved very far in our advances of affording equal protections to all members of our society. We have not finished the journey, though.  LGBT members of our society face very real and very difficult roadblocks in their path to equal protection.  They are demonized by members of various religions and the authorities that share the beliefs of those religions. They face very detrimental obstacles to inheritance, medical care, legal authority, 5th amendment protections, and many other things we all take for granted.

So, I go to Montgomery to try and at least be a voice against backwards thinking. A voice against religious inculcation of our governmental bodies.  A voice for fair application and protections.  I want my gay friends and family to be equal. I want no "buts" in regards to their abilities to interact with anyone.  I want Alabama to step into this new millennium and embrace all of her citizens as people. Not their skin color, not their creed, not their culture, not their sexuality, not their gender. People, all the same, all of value, all together.

Documents: JIC Complaint, Moore's Letter to Bentley, Moore's Order to Probate Judges, The Petition. Impeach Roy Moore

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Judicial Impunity

   Chief Justice Roy Moore has once again stepped outside of his authority, and has issued a decree that no Probate Judge in the State of Alabama shall issue marriage licenses to any same sex couples. This dictate is in direct conflict with the ruling and subsequent clarification by A Federal District judge which struck down the amendment cited by Moore in his proclamation.

    These actions are not very surprising to anyone familiar with the history of Judge Moore. 12 years ago, The Honorable Moore, was removed from office for refusing to comply with a court order concerning a monument. He has repeatedly shown his personal, theocratic bias at every opportunity.  He has declared non Christians to be removed from the rights of the Constitution.  He equates gay marriage to the ultimate downfall of our society.

   He is the founder of the Foundation for Moral Law, but stepped down as its head when his wife and son took over concurrent to his election.  Hes has invoked his religion in his rulings and was removed from office for his refusal to remove a monument by court order.He also was criticized for opening his sessions with prayers directed at the jury pool.

   Judge Moore has shown, and continues to show his disregard for the rule of law. He refuses to be bound by the rules that form the stability of our legal system.  Roy Moore believes himself above the law, on par with only the law of his God.  He sees himself as some sort of mythological hero, destined to save the righteous from the vile, heretical hordes of Jews, Hindus, Atheists and Muslims.  He disregards any part of the legal frameworks that do not agree with his preconceived determination.  He uses the bench to promote his religion. He does this instead of and in conflict with the oath he swore and the authority he has been granted.

It is time for him to go, again. No more, Moore.

Here is a link to my petition to have him removed. I will deliver it to any group filing actions against him and any media outlet that would like to see how many people agree with his removal
Impeach Roy Moore

Saturday, February 7, 2015

A Victory for Love and Equality

2 more days, Alabama. That is how much time is left before Same Sex Marriages will be allowed in this state. It has been a long, hard, bitter struggle. Homosexuals have been demonized, decried, debased, and suffered repeated lies and distortions from bigoted religious zealots for decades.  Our current Chief Justice, Roy Moore, sits on his bench spewing hateful, ignorant, theocratic, unconstitutional opinions about cases that are not in his venue. His unethical and pathetic behavior will be another point to begin the process to have him removed... for the second time. This man is incapable of being impartial, ethical, decent, or humane.

Now we have many Probate Judges saying that they will no longer issue any marriage licenses or only issue hetero sexual marriage licenses. This is not their job. They are simply there to make sure the paper work is filled out properly.  When they begin injecting their personal religious beliefs into their secular government responsibilities it is time to remove them.  They swore an oath to follow the law, the law now permits Same Sex Marriage. Get over it guys, you lost. Love and equity have won the day over bigotry and religious zealotry.  You don't have to like it, and you do not have to participate... remove yourselves, before we remove you.